US President Donald Trump’s new Middle East envoy is a 30-year-old White House administrative assistant who used to run errands and get coffee for his son-in-law Jared Kushner, a new report states.
Trump announced Thursday that Avi Berkowitz will replace former envoy Jason Greenblatt, who announced his resignation the day before.
A Harvard Law School graduate who finished his studies in 2016, Berkowitz has zero foreign policy experience except for being Kushner’s right-hand-man. He also joined the Trump campaign in 2016.
The Business Insider, in a 2017 article, quoted former White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks as saying that Berkowitz’s main duties had been “daily logistics like getting coffee and coordinating meetings” as Kushner’s close aide.
A former employer of the new man in charge of America’s Middle East peace efforts also said on Twitter that he was “not very impressive and needed significant hand-holding to handle even simple assignments. But Mideast peace? I’m sure he’s got this!”
A Middle East expert described Berkowitz as “a glorified intern,” according to the Telegraph.
Jasmine El-Gamal, a former Middle East advisor to the Pentagon said the appointment shows the Trump administration’s “lack of seriousness” in their plans to broker peace in the Middle East.
“They are not even pretending otherwise by hiring a qualified person as an envoy,” she told the British media outlet.
Berkowitz’s background as a Zionist, a trait he shares with both Kushner and Greenblatt, has also raised concerns in various political circles.
The young diplomat inherits America’s so-called “deal of the century” peace deal, which was masterminded by Kushner and Greenblatt as the ultimate solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The deal, which has already been rejected by the Palestinians and the international community, seeks to do away with Palestinian’s right to statehood in exchange for basic economic opportunities.
Berkowitz and Kushner’s Zionist affiliations only lays bare the inherent bias that comes with any US-brokered peace talks between Palestine and the Tel Aviv regime.
Washington showed that it does not even care enough to hide the bias, as Trump thanked Greenblatt for his “dedication to Israel” upon his departure.
The Telegraph cited experts as saying that Berkowitz could be a disposable player that the Trump administration has brought on board only to kick out later in order to save face in the event of the peace deal’s anticipated failure.
Upon the unveiling of the deal of the century’s first installment at a conference in Bahrain in June, which was boycotted by Palestinian officials, Kushner’s creation was met with widespread criticism.
“I would give this so-called plan a C- from an undergraduate student,” said Daniel Kurtzer, a former US ambassador to Israel.
Kushner is expected to drop the next, political phase of the plan soon, shortly after Israel’s election on September 17.
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